Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fire Walk With Us: An interview with Chaos Invocation.

Chaos Invocation is more than just a band; it is a fraternity of burning faith and aspect of luciferian manifestation. The urge to materialize their religious and spiritual direction into a musical entity was the reason why they gave birth to Chaos Invocation. They follow a path that only a few characters on this earth dare to walk, a path that must men aren't even able to find or once they became aware of it. Chaos Invocation shine upon you all. Those are carved in traits of horror and disgrace as they strike over cosmic structures.

2004 - Mention German black metal and the first thought that comes to my mind is Chaos Invocation. It was established in 2004 by satanic seed Andre, as an aspect of their faith to life. The basic idea has always been to combine religion with music. The trio will surely appeal to fans of Ascension, Watain or Order of Orias even it is not a copy of it but there are some similarities in the sound. Chaos Invocation is truly a great band of their craft. A trio consisting of Malte on vocals, Thomas on drums and Andre does guitars and lyrics. With the original line-up they rehearsed in 2006, the "Bloodline with the Snake" album, but this only started in early 2009 and published a few months later. Since 2008, they work with WTC to inject us the essence of the triple six. They build a temple, build a link, build a channel to mysteries and to the paramount level. Let chaos thrive...

2009 - In Bloodline with the Snake. Well-crafted splendor songs are not only ecstatic but certainly demand a lot of careful listening, which I always love doing. ‘In Bloodline with the Snake’, the debut album is fierce and dark and beautifully portrayed in its most parts and it is deeply satisfying in its exploration of dark disharmonic melodies. The fifty minutes of chaotic invocations were unleashed by indomitable World Terror Committee. Opening track, ‘Channel to Mysteries’ can evoke a contemplative mood, and is a nice intro, some ambient work, and eerie atmosphere which sets a perfect way for the rest of the album. I believe that all good-minded musicians retain that contemplative mood in their music to hold the attention of the listener. The tracks ‘The Seer Of Divine Fire’ and ‘Injection - Poison of The Black Prophets’ were brightly constructed songs that keep us great mood till the very end and undoubtedly the best moments. The motif of the album was that it emanates a mystical atmosphere. The lyrics of the band are mind-blowing and thought-provoking. It’s touching upon the precipice of the Satanism quite cool to read. Don’t think that Satan and Christian related themes are such vague concepts today as completely irrelevant in 21st century. The strong ideals such Satanism is always going to find a perfect fit with strong arts like black metal. For them, Satanism and Black metal are a nearly perfect symbiosis. Nowadays the situation of metal scene is quite same everywhere, whereas I prefer to search for something inspiring in art besides black and death metal have seen a dramatic change in the past a few years as many bands with new sounds, themes and thoughts. Chaos Invocation is my favorite band now. The level of purity and strive for artistic excellence in Chaos Invocation are really praiseworthy. I say, Chaos Invocation is a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas in Black Metal. Suck the essence of In Bloodline with the Snake. I am sure you will drown yourself in the echoes of violence. From the darkest path, to the highest peak and the deepest pulpit, it will eternally follow thee.

2013 - Black Mirrors Hours follows the path deeper into the dark, and you'll find the core of the beckoning flame...Black Mirrors Hours, second full length album. Enjoyed it immensely. The death knells of this album are ringing and should be heard in every corner of this planet through their recent live rituals and their label. The album is darker and quite different from the debut album but they are continuing to create their best work. ‘Black Mirror Hours’ was one of the most anticipated albums in 2012 but it saw the light of day only during March 2013 due to numerous delays. Sophomore attempt is a cacophony of endless power. Its dark curses of tongue. Their hymns of death on new record are so forceful sounds. Hear the screams of burning mouth of Malte whereas Andre and Thomas manifesting or constructing the chaos and darkness. The portal opens with Delirium Worship & Total Abandon and energetic rivers flow. A true initiation they bestowed this time. Faces On My Spiritual Plane is nearly a perfect stuff and admirable in its purity and lengthy. The album runs a long hour, but with a long time listens it can NOT be bored because it needs some patience and a mood to devour the essence of Chaos Invocation’s hymns and World Terror Committee treats their musical abilities as well. Production played a big role this time too. I guess that, WTC and Chaos Invocation have a contiguous view on some important ideological terms.

"Infernal queen, darkest Mother; let us suck the nectar from your breast"

Chaos Invocation are the wanderers on the earth of snakes. This path is everlasting, twisting experience and a gateway to spiritual freedom for them besides greatest treasure of all. It’s been a decade since Chaos Invocation were born in this bloody horizon and treated us with two majestic albums and in future we'll be eagerly waiting for their music as their music tastes venom as they offer more than what beats in their chest. They will never stop evolving to new and unseen states. They are a black metal but they don't want to be everybody's darling or most likable band in the world. WTC is the most satanic label in the world and an apt label for these kinds of bands. Their releases are quite unlike anything else in modern black metal. Chaos Invocation reaches the level of ultimate power. There are bands not to be found but to be recognized.

Here is an extensive interview with A. who does guitar and vocals for the band. Interview conducted by Ebby Sasi and Roy Kristensen.

Before we enter the domain of your first part, named “In Bloodline With The Snake”, let’s shed some darkness on previous matters. Such as, what led to Chaos Invocation? Where did the urge to make strong black metal origin from? 

"The urge to materialize our religious and spiritual direction into a musical entity was the reason why we gave birth to Chaos Invocation. We follow a path that only a few characters on this earth dare to walk, a path that most men aren't even able to find or once they became aware of it, leave again after they hobbled a few frightened steps on it. We grow with every step and the greater the distance we left behind gets, the greater and brighter will Chaos Invocation shine upon you all."

Some may think that people who perform the art are miserable humans who feel like outcasts of society. Well, let’s assure the world that this isn’t so. In fact, many are parents, many have enough money to feed an African tribe on their own, houses, big TVs, etc. Isn’t it then strange that many also has the need to make black metal? Can one really live a happy life and make socalled trve black metal? 

"Well, we have our homes, we work for our outcome and at times we even have some friends around us. Still we have found something in life that others cannot count to their values. This something might appear extreme, still it satisfies us, it strengthens us and fills our veins with joy. It is our faith, that is the urge of Chaos Invocation and therefore a transformation of Black Metal. This musical "style" has always been made for individuals with a strong and unique character. Concerning the bands that bother us with their whimpering moaning monologues of their desire of death and their inner agony because their cat died 14 years ago, well maybe they should realize their musical vision. We are using this live to fulfil our goals as this will lead us to the next and higher form of existence."

As a musician one needs a certain level to perform interesting music. And when the music reaches the level of Chaos Invocation, one needs to improve even further. How did you develop as musicians in order to fulfil (or at least come closer) to your darkened visions? When did it all change from playing notes and chords into making dark music with a purpose?

"Chaos Invocation is growing together with and inside of us. The process of creating music is comparable with the cycle of birth. While the labor pains lead in the process of birth it is an inner pressure inside of us that needs to be released once it became too big. This pressure is the result of our impressions and inspirations which we gather on our path. This procedure has been the same ever since the founding of Chaos Invocation. As you can see, the creation of our music is a very natural flow which we simply let happens."

Isn't it somewhat sad that so many great bands are probably neglected due to people thinking that everything was better in the 90’s? I mean, with bands such as Dødsengel, Watain, Deathspell Omega, Abigor (after 2005) and others I’d say that black metal has musically and philosophically never been any stronger. Does Chaos Invocation plan to become a huge success like Watain, or do you feel more comfortable in the underground? Does your ideology need any different touches to become bigger, stronger and perhaps even better (if possible)? 

"First of all, the music of Abigor has been outstanding since the beginning. (Definitely yes - Roy) Anyway, we can agree on this one. The philosophical component seems to be more significant these days. It is raising this genre to a brand new stage. Of course, the 90's were something special, but we look anything than wistful into the future. Our ideology does not see success as a lodestar; success is simply a side effect or a result of living-out our ideology. We do not have a future plan or a strategy that should help us to become more famous or successful. As we already mentioned, the creation within Chaos Invocation is a natural process and we don't have the intention to adjourn this divine flow."

In what way can we say that Chaos Invocation is very much your personal expression? I mean, if it weren’t personal, you’d rather make pop music or something… Would you say that “In Bloodline With The Snake” was an evolving idea from numerous and frequent observations? 

"The album was the result of five years work after the formation of the band… "In Bloodline With The Snake" is our first confession of faith and describes the level of evolution we had at that point. One should not forget, that we are wanderers on the path of snakes. This path is an everlasting, twisting experience and a gateway to spiritual freedom, the greatest treasure of all. So, "In Bloodline With The Snake" is just a result of the first five years of this journey. The first chapter ("The Search Of Keys And Gates") is yet not closed and we will reveal further experiences of this time in a not so distant future. Fire walk with us!

The album has been released by two different labels. Why did this happen? How much did you sell of the first version? 

"The intention was to guarantee a worldwide availability of the record. This idea was brought into live by W.T.C. Canonical Hours should take over the US market and the "Terror Committee" the rest. But we do not know how many copies were sold, not to mention the estimated number of internet downloads. It is simply not important for our future way of working. We do not define success in the number of sold copies or in how many people are standing in front of the stage. Success to us is the assurance that we have put sweat and blood, fear and an iron will into the realization of our musical visions. We want to be thrown back into the madness we were drowning in while recording every time we listen to the result."

"Channel To Mysteries" can evoke a contemplative mood, and is a nice intro, some ambient work and an eerie atmosphere. It sets a perfect way for the rest of the album. I believe that all good-minded musicians retain that contemplative mood in their music to hold the attention of the listener. Any comment?

"No, you are speaking the truth... this time."

What kind of response did the album receive? Those few I know who’ve heard it talks very well about it, despite the rather obvious Watain inspirations. But no matter similarities, I’d say that Chaos Invocation has a slightly less melodic and a bit darker approach, when it comes to “In Bloodline With The Snake”. Did people really understand your visions?

"Probably not that many, no. It is not a band like Watain that has an influence on us, but a spring of inspiration which lies beyond all creations of others. The musical analogy to Watain, which we haven't found till today, might lie in the fact that both bands have a similar urge and follow their path with hearts filled with fanatic passion. To get back to the question, we do not have the intention to make our creation comprehensible for everyone."

In the titletrack it says “We believe in the trinity of devotion, abuse and malice”. I could narrow-mindedly ask why, but let me rather ask what it is with malice that attracts you, that you choose to believe in? And when you speak of abuse, then abuse of what?

"Let me tell you, that this lyric was written seven years ago. It is a relic of a time where the denial of the established forms of religion had more importance in our live than today. The aforementioned line simply describes the event in the Garden of Eden and is, from our point of view, a trinity with a biblical fundament. See it as a quote. Chaos Invocation is a circle that is constantly evolving. Maybe we would write things different today, but still we can identify us with the old songs."

When I read the lyrics of the debut, I feel alien to your visions. It is neither the various names, nor the horrendous images therein, but more the thoughts I get when I listen to the music and read the lyrics. When I read, I wonder what you think is wrong with human kind, what is so wrong that you want to harvest the madness of Satan, that you will reach the level of ultimate power, an evil power from what I understand? 

"No, the ultimate power we are speaking of is not to be called "evil", as it lies beyond all lower minded perceptions. It is the power to explore the own subconscious and its unlimited potential. This will lead to a divine state of awareness, the full realization of the higher self and the unshackled flow of the serpent within us. When you look back on human evolution, especially on the last two decades you will see that things have begun to evolve into the right direction. At least in some cases. Even science has discovered the theme of "human consciousness" and can no longer deny that there is something more than our five senses want to tell us. But only the future knows if this is just a trend or really a next step of the human mind. But it is a fact, if you do not focus on your own spiritual increase, you will lose every form of sanity once your consciousness embraces its full form in front of you. This embrace is a gift to us and we see it as an impulse of a Luciferian origin. This impulse sleeps in the heart of every man, realize it and open your inner gateways to know god!"

The new album is also unleashed by World Terror Committee, which some say have rather unaccepted views on various themes, such as for instance races, racism and human worth. But I couldn’t find anything in your lyrics that make me think nationalism, NSBM or things like that. What made you go for World Terror Committee that couldn’t find in other labels? Or was it simply a best-offer thing? 

"We don’t give a shit, honestly! We don’t care about things that were brought to the table again and again by the same kind of wiseacres. Once and for all: neither "Chaos Invocation" nor the "World Terror Committee" pursues political interests. The latest commitments of bands should really speak for themselves… But let’s get back to your question. The World Terror Committee is the most Satanic label on this planet. And that was exactly what we were looking for. We never wanted to work with a label that, while financially supporting us, does not embody with our religious background. We are a black metal band and for this reason alone we should not and don’t want to be everybody's darling or the most likeable band in the world. We will always raise our middle fingers to those who put a political stamp on us, since this false and insubstantial action pollutes our work. Fuck you! Anyone who feels bothered by our label should move quickly and harass someone else. Chaos Invocation is the wrong band for this person. My recommendation: James Blunt and Co."

The début album is a strong musical black metal vision. It’s fierce and dark, yet also melodic at times. How have people responded to your music in the live-situation? What have you felt when you played your songs in front of a visible audience? 

"Most of the time the audience reacts pretty retained, maybe because they do not quite understand what is happening in front of their eyes at that moment. When we perform live we have to deal with the fact that most people do not know us, which might explain the problem. On the other hand there have been nights where the audience simply went insane and the flow of energy in these moments is assuming a definite form. But this is rather an exception; most people are simply too rooted in this physical form of existence."

There are probably still those who claim that black metal is not for the masses and shouldn’t be performed live. Oh well… In today’s scene one must play live to make some money from the music, as far as I understand. Why do Chaos Invocation choose to play live? 

"These mentioned rituals are the main reason, these nights full of flowing energy between band and audience. We see it as a way of symbiosis. Money cannot be mentioned here, because we usually just get enough to cover the travelling costs."

In these days where the almighty internet, our new god/devil, is more alive than ever, it seems like many people have rejoined my love for physical products, like vinyls. How important is the whole package to a band like Chaos Invocation? Can the music be completely felt without being a trinity (booklet, music and lyrics)? And on the same theme, do you care about the negative sides with the internet, knowing that Chaos Invocation sadly will not be your only income? 

"We prefer to believe in gods that manifest in front of us and do their illuminating work. We prefer the trinity mentioned by you as well, since the lyrics are always significant. No matter how brilliant the music is, if the lyrics simply suck, the whole impression suffers. I can understand those who download a record first to find out if they like it or not. There are too many releases out there and one has to measure from which ones he wants to have the original format. Of course it would be perfect for us if Chaos Invocation would be our source of subsistence, but let’s face it, it is not possible at this point. Maybe we will find a way in the future, which gives us the opportunity to focus 100 % on the work of our circle."

The new album “Black Mirror Hours” was done in 2012, but not released until now due to what I expect to be underground delays. How did the recording process go, now three years after the one for your début? Did you change anything special to bring out the very best and darkest of you? 

"The recordings for "Black Mirror Hours" started in October 2011, for "In Bloodline With The Snake" in September 2008. Even though three years lie between both outbursts of madness, the process of recording has not changed. We take the nearly finished song to the studio but always find enough space for spontaneous ideas. It has always been important to us to create an atmosphere, inside the studio, in which we feel comfortable, an atmosphere in which the gods that are beneficial to our work can manifest. The smell of death usually is the mark we leave and we hope that this miasma ruins the residence of the bands that come after us to record their bullshit."

The new album has a more brutal sound and I’d also say that it sounds more unique than your début, which was closer to let’s say Watain as one example. The album is also darker. At the same time there’s a lot happening in every song, such as twists, variation, different vocals. What made you change/develop your music from “In Bloodline With The Snake” to today’s Chaos Invocation? What vision did you have when you began to write “Black Mirror Hours"?  

"Black Mirror Hours" stands for the unfiltered impact of our believe unto our lives, suited in a musical robe. The knowledge we gained on our path needed to be recorded. We simply had to wait for the eruptions to come."

As said, the new album feels more unique, but still one must find inspirational sources outside one’s own mind in order to develop. What were your main inspirations, musically and lyrically speaking, for “Black Hour Mirrors”? 

"Our faith is our inspiration and the result of this inspiration is Chaos Invocation."

When you write a new song, must it be better than the former or could it be that it is just another vision from the darkside? When I listen to the excellent “Black Mirror Hours” I definitely feel that you strive to not repeat yourselves, since every track has its own identity, yet still all of them being with the frame, if you see what I mean.

"Our faith is very multilayer, which of course has a positive effect on the music."

When it comes to lyrics, do you think that the strong ideals such as Satanism are always going to find a perfect fit with strong arts like black metal? 

"For us Satanism and Black Metal are a nearly perfect symbiosis."

It says in “The Black Mirror Hours”: “Keep on pushing forward from the tree of life towards the tree of knowledge!”. When you look around you, witnessing the world and it’s “development”, do you see any hope for human kind, since it seems like people just live instead of striving towards the tree of knowledge? I don’t know if this is anything that you had in mind writing these words, but it made me ask still..

"This is something I did not have in mind while writing this line. Nevertheless, this is a legitimate question. We live in a stressful world that is dominated by money and lack of time. The man is much too caught up in his everyday life and rarely develops multidimensional. His dimension mostly consists of his job, his family and sometimes of his hobbies and what he calls his religious belief. So where does his development start and where does it end? What kind of knowledge does this man acquire? How much does he want to acquire at all. We know, that most religions are built up on seeded, moral values, or let us say limitations. Who still thinks about what “life” really means? I can only be glad that I'm of a different nature, if not this world would be a pretty meaningless place. But, we also recognize that the world is changing. The man started to search for other components in his dimension. The esoteric idea is spreading…"

One of my many favourites on the new album, “Hypertoxication”, is surely a progressive and unpredictable tune. When you write such a track, do you decide on beforehand that it will be an ever-changing track with details that appear only after numerous spins? I love the idea that I expect you to change from some slow part to some fast, like most bands do, but no, then you just change into something else and still slow… 

"No, we don’t decide that before we write a song. We just let the outbreaks of accumulated creative energy happen. Of course, it also happens that we change a detail afterwards, but that is the exception and normally everything remains as it was created in the moment of this eruption of creative energy."

When I read the lyrics, it seems to me, if one could even dare to try to summarize things up with one sentence, that “Black Mirror Hours” is a tribute to death. No matter wrong or right, what is your view upon death and our society’s incredibly stupid view that looking young is the only meaning in life? Fear of death is fear of life itself, since the way you live your life will decide if your death is a worthy one…? 

"Black Mirror Hours" is a compendium of the experiences that we made since we walk upon the path of snakes and a dedication to the dark Gods. The death of the human form of existence plays an important role on this album, but as a tribute to death I would not label this album for myself. However, I will not limit the possibilities of interpretation here. "Black Mirror Hours" may finally mean something different for everybody. If you interpret it like this, OK."

It is not enough to mention Satan in the lyrics to be a Satanist. Of course. But how do you view Satanism in connection with Chaos Invocation? Is it only the lyrics that decide if a band is Satanic, because how can a note be Satanic? Does a single note for its own has got any satanic potential? 

"Yes, just look at various magical systems. There you will see, that a single note, if only repeated long enough, is able to show you the world behind this construct, the world without end, inside and beyond. But of course the summation of notes is not only able to create a musical aura, but even to create a wild, chaotic and satanic character. The lyrics alone cannot fulfil this goal as well, as they don't prove if the band takes the theme very serious. The entirety of it lets us hear, see and feel the abandon through which the music was created."

There are probably as many genres of black metal as there are black metal bands, but with Chaos Invocation I think black metal is more than sufficient. There’s a drive in your music that you rarely find in black metal. It moves forward and downwards all the time. Do you think that people will understand your concept and what Chaos Invocation is all about, beyond the music?

"We don't hold on to illusions here. Probably there are not that many people out there that are able to understand and bear what Chaos Invocation is all about. There is no other explanation why some piles of flesh try to imply us with their degenerated political and moral values. The awareness of most people is very limited and narrow minded. Only those who approach us completely impartial are getting a chance to understand what happens inside our circle. Chaos Invocation is more than just a band, it is a fraternity of burning faith and an aspect of Luciferian manifestation."

The album is a grower. The first few times it was a bit disappointing, since the début is so strong. But slowly and definitely safely the album began to grow on me. I noticed different parts that stand out and now I'm sure it’ll be one of 2013 brightest/darkest moments. What do you expect from the album and the response on your creation? And, where will you take Chaos Invocation from here? 

"It seems nearly impossible to answer this question, because essentially there are no boundaries for us. Music knows no borders and our lives and faith are aligned to transgress every threshold. Therefore it is one of many logical consequences, that Chaos Invocation will never stop evolving to new, unseen states. We are all very curious about how the next record will turn out, but at the same time we know that it will top everything that has yet been created by us."